There Was A New Sheriff In Town
It had started with a few isolated incidents: The time Fizzy sprayed Jumbo with the seltzer water and then, for reasons unknown at the time, had broken the bottle over Jumbo’s head. The time Laffy and Taffy’s pie-throwing routine resulted in a concussion and whiplash for Taffy following a particularly forceful pie to the face from Laffy. The time an agitated Feebles came at Goober with a switchblade and brass knuckles–and had to be held back by no less than three of his colleagues–after Goober had pulled the old water-squirting lapel flower trick on Feebles, which was a normal part of their routine. These incidents were all dealt with internally according to company policy, and not much more was heard about them.
But then came the double whammy: First, the infamous September 2, 2004 show in Joliet, IL. That night, a squabble amongst the clowns riding in the clown car escalated to an all-out brawl–while all fifteen clowns were still in the car. When the dust had settled, Goofy was dead and five others ended up in critical condition; Boffo died two days later of internal injuries suffered in the incident.
And secondly, Fizzy, who had since retired, published a tell-all memoir in which he claimed CEDs (clown-enhancing drugs) were not dabbled in by a few bad eggs but were in fact rampantly abused throughout the clowning ranks of the Binky Bros. Big Top Circus, and furthermore, that Binky Bros. management knew this and could have prevented a Clown Cargate from happening but turned a blind eye to the abuse for the sake of profit.
It was a full-blown crisis, and that’s why they had brought him on board. He came highly recommended–he’d cleaned up Ringling Bros. years ago and was very well-respected in the field–and as soon as he arrived, he brought the hammer down, firing the worst offenders and instituting across-the-board random testing with large fines and other stiff penalties for any positive results.
Yes, there was a new sheriff in town, and he didn’t care how many enemies he made or how long it took: Grubby The Clown was going to clean up the Binky Bros. Big Top Circus.
(I guess I should add here that the name “Grubby” referred to his clown persona’s physical appearance; he was a comical Charlie Chaplin-type hobo, dressed in rags with smudges on his face. He was aware it was not an ideal name given his job, but he had started his career as a performer rather than on the administrative side, and he couldn’t very easily just change his entire being mid-career just because he now had a desk job, so what are ya gonna do, right?)
So, anyway: He cleaned up the circus, they came back from tragedy and scandal even bigger and better than before, etc., etc., all was well. The end.